In these uncertain and unprecedented times, when every business is facing some sort of a struggle (whether it is a lack of demand or the shortage of supply or something else), all of us are trying to figure out how to keep our businesses afloat.
Can SEO be part of the solution here?
For the most part, it can!
Here are a few important steps to adapting your SEO strategy to survive the global pandemic:
1. Re-focus your site to what is likely to be in demand and/or available
This is probably an obvious step but too many businesses are missing it: If your product and offer is not in high demand at this time, highlight products that are.
On the other hand, if your primary products are sold out or need time to re-stock, shorten your product line to focus on what you can deliver fast.
Don’t delete anything that is out-of-stock but rather change your home page to put more important and / or available products and deals.
In most cases, re-focusing your product and content marketing strategies in the following direction is likely to improve both organic visibility and engagement:
- Family life and kids: Gear content topics towards kids, parents, families, teachers, etc… even if you’re a B2B business. Re-focus your key landing pages to family-centric product. Redesign your home page to highlight those products that may help families staying home with kids
- Health and wellness: It may be no-brainer in this situation but don’t be afraid of getting creative. For example, you may not be able to sell a hand sanitizer but you can create DIY kits using your products and feature them on the home page. Bundling products around currently hot needs will help you rank for queries where you don’t necessarily have a product to offer.
But more importantly, don’t stress over traffic fluctuations. Searching and buying behaviors are changing, there’s no denying that. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, these changes are going to be temporal: Your site will get back to normal as panic buying settles down.
It is a good idea to adjust your business model a bit to cater to the new buying patterns but overall keeping your sanity is the most important step here: This all shall pass.
2. Inform your customers of your current situation and possible workarounds
Put a quick disclaimer on your home page informing your customers what your shipping situation is and what you can still do to help them.
If you are selling essential products and find yourself unable to restock fast, go an extra mile and provide some clues as to how your customers may get along until you get the products back in stock.
If there’s a DIY option, find a good instruction and list the steps on your home page. Being genuinely helpful goes a long way: It builds brand loyalty and can even bring in links.
On your home page create a COVID-19 notice which would include:
- What you are doing to help ensure safely of your employees and customers
- If there any changes in delivery times
- How you are helping your community and/or struggling nonprofits to survive the pandemic
This is also a good time to offer customers an incentive to invest with you now. For example, you can offer bundle discounts, extended returns/warranties, etc.
3. Create Linkable Assets to Build/Attract Links
It may sound somewhat too pragmatic, but crises like this one offers some of the best opportunities to build your highest quality links.
Now that journalists and educators are in search for the new ways to turn this situation around and offers their readers and students some ideas on what to do over the quarantine, help them!
Is there any way your business can help people these days? Do you provide opportunities for free education? Can your products or digital assets can cover some immediate needs? Don’t hesitate and build an outreach campaign around that.
Ninjas can help out! We have years of experience in high-quality asset creation and outreach campaigns, so we can definitely help create an effective link building strategy for your site.
Some example of linkable assets you can create:
- Survey-based data on how COVID-19 has impacted your industry so far
- A DYI guide on creating alternatives to essential products
- An original idea on how people can make the most of their quarantine time (new hobby idea)
- Free downloads for homeschooling parents, etc.
Yes, you need to make it really helpful and useful. And yes, you need a personalized outreach campaign to bring it forward in front of teachers and journalists who can link. But if you do both of these right, you’ll see a flood of links you never dared to hope for!
4. Work on Your EAT (Expertise Authoritativeness Trustworthiness)
Now that there too many scams and fake news floating the Internet, Google is likely to pay even more attention to trust signals of each particular page.
It is a good time to emphasize why your business is worth the trust of both Google and its users:
- Refresh on-site reviews and testimonials
- Add links to external entities that have featured you (past conferences, awards, etc.)
- Highlight Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives on the site
- Re-write your About page to showcase the expertise behind the site (and connect authorship across the site)
- Highlight educational content you’ve been building, etc.
We live in the challenging times. But you know what: Each and every business is facing challenges these days. It is not like you desperately watch your competitors climbing up while your ship is tanking.
We are all going through the same storm which means one important thing: Where there is a challenge, there is an opportunity for flexible and creative businesses that are ready to innovate and work with reliable partners.
Speaking of partners: Get yourself a good one here.